Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Horse is a Horse, Of Course, Of Course!

My husband and I "met" this lovely steed at a local historic event in rural Maine last summer. Scribner's Mill, to be exact, where local history and customs were being celebrated. Here, "Molly The Hungry Horse" takes time out for a late afternoon snack of hay. She was personable enough to give us a glance, even as we interrupted her meal. I'm taken by the shock of hair in her eyes, her long whiskers, and the morsels of hay protruding from her mouth. Cuteness aside, horses are beautiful and noble animals.

Unfortunately for me, those times in my life when I sat on top of one, were not too pleasant. I remember three experiences in particular. When I was about eight my father took me horseback riding. My steed was the only one who galloped down the steep hill at the end of the trail, straight for the lake! He turned so abruptly at the last minute, that I nearly flew into the water. I was speechless and so grateful to dismount, I probably didn't speak for the rest of the day!

Another time when I had paid for a horseback ride, they gave me a mule instead. I was a teenager and too embarrassed to protest. (Cute guys around, you know...) This stubborn critter walked me into every available low-hanging branch along our trail, so that I spent the entire time ducking and flailing. Now THAT was embarrassing, as were the scratches on my face!

The third time did me in. My husband and I were on our honeymoon, just a 3-day trip to Mount Airy Lodge in Pennsylvania, which we could barely afford in those years. A cold snap had the winter landscape in its icy vice-grip, but we opted for a horseback ride anyway. We needed to get away from the opulent meals and most of all, the chocolate desserts we had been over-consuming.
My horse didn't want to leave the stable and made that known early on, when he stubbornly circled instead of falling into the queue. I help my breath in the icy air as we entered the forest. My apparently fatigued and willful horse fell to his knees on the rocky and root-crossed path and rocked sideways, while I sat perched on his back, my mouth open and my heart jumping out of my chest. Not only was it minus three degrees that day, almost too cold to breathe, but I was SURE my marriage was going to be cut short by my untimely death upon the ice-encrusted rocks of a forest horse path.

Image and text c Lynda Lehmann.


  1. Lynda, I know these are not the best times and experiences while horse back riding, but they are funny. You know I will not sit on the horse either. I went horse back riding once too, and boy it wasn't pleasent. My mom once sat me on the calf when I was may be 4-5 years old, and I think that did it, because calf did not like it either. What a start in life.

    You said: '...but I was SURE my marriage was going to be cut short by my untimely death upon the ice-encrusted rocks of a forest horse path.' - lol, but it worked out okay :)

    Lynda my friend stick with photographs of the horse, it is much more fun.

    BTW every time I arrive at this blog, I am always amazed how beautiful the header is, so perfect.

    Take care for now, and just before I go - this is very cute photo of the horse. Love your story, something different this time.

    Anna :)

  2. Lol, too funny about the mule. I have never rode a horse, hope to one day, horse, not mule that is. I've heard a lot of funny stories from my parents about riding horses to school, sometimes 3 to a horse, back then that's how you got around.

  3. Anna - You're not whistling dixie about this:
    "Lynda my friend stick with photographs of the horse, it is much more fun." Not only is more fun for me (at my age, especially) but much safer!

    You were sat upon a calf! No doubt your parents held you there and whisked you away when the calf got agitated. No one around me had the sense or wherewithal to pull me off any of those horses. I would have been deeply grateful. But then again, I wasn't four!

    My friend who rides all the time was sad to hear about these experiences. I guess I'm just not an equestrian--the horses can sense I'm not comfortable. I tend to not be comfortable with things I have absolutely no control over!

    Thanks for your compliment on my header.

    Good to see you, Anna. I'll be over soon. :)

  4. Bob, things have changed a lot since our parents were kids. Not all for the better, I'm afraid.

    Frankly, I like to look at hot rods for their pictorial quality, but other than that, I could do without autos. They are the source of so much noise, stink, and pollution. I wish I could just fly over everything. Either that, or take comfortable, AVAILABLE mass transit!

    Hope you never get a mule, lol... :)

  5. I love horses and mules but not to ride.
    I've ridden both with more success with the mules.
    I prefer all life to be lived free.
    Very funny stories.

  6. Robert, I would prefer that no animals be subjugated for our pleasure. Especially circus animals, who are forced to perform for the sake of humans--who want to profit from the performance.

    I realized this summer, while watching an old Western about a horse race across the Wild West, how loyal and noble horses can be. And they are certainly beautiful and elegant. They deserve to run free.

  7. First let me say I absolutely love your banner...I'm a lover of flowers and purple is my all time favorite color so when the page opened was amazing for me!!!!

    Riding a horse can be a bit trying, especially if you haven't been born to it...
    I have to say it isn't something I've done much of over the years...the last time we ventured out my mother, who at the time was in her late 40's was thrown, pulling muscles etc., she was off work for almost 8 months...she is now 72 and is still bothered with hold on.
    Having said all that I do agree "horses are beautiful and noble animals"...
    Enjoy the day!

  8. Azure Islands Designs, thank you! I'm glad you like my banner. If you ever want to use it on your blog, just let me know and I'll send you the JPG!

    I'm sorry your mom was injured and has lasting pains from it. That's a real shame. :(
    I know people who ride all the time, but they are well versed in horse training and lore. Since I'm not, I think I'll keep my feet on the ground and watch the horses from a safe distance!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Hi there... want to change your favicon? find out how.. Have a nice tuesday!

  10. Hi Lynda,

    Ohhh, Molly is so beautiful!! :D I love horses!!

    Ok, I totally understand why you wouldn't talk the whole day: what a traumatic experience.
    LOL the things we do when cute guys are around LOL *nodding*....

    LOL LOL LOL LOL I am sorry, Lynda...I didn't want to laugh but this is too funny! Ok, now we may declare that you and horses do not fully get along...
    Honeymoon and chocolates...what a fine combination :D!

    Thanks for sharing this great story with us...*bowing*!


  11. You are right that a horse seems so noble. I love this image you have captured. They always seemed like such magical creatures to me! (Sorry to hear about your horse mishaps!)

  12. Oh my! So sorry to hear of your equestrian troubles! Somehow I've never had a problem, myself (after very many rides.) Been too long since I've ridden, though. I must do that again soon. Horses are just awesome!

  13. Gosh your header is down right gorgeous Lynda.
    I really like this photo - the grass sticking out of the horse's mouth is a wonderful touch. Excellent capture.

  14. Kia ora Lynda,
    I also had an unpleasant experience in a wintry Wisconsin forest upon a horse who did not wish to be ridden - at least by me! I decided then and there that I would rather walk through the forest under my own power. They are beautiful though, and an excellent photo.

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  17. @MAX - I love horses almost as much as honeymoons and chocolates, but strictly from AFAR! I want to be yards away, neither underfoot nor atop. The only stirrups I want to see are in the GYN office, and I'm not too fond of those, either!

    @ SHELLMO - As you can surmise, I've survived my horse misadventures, but life still throws me (and everyone else) many curveballs!

    @ LANA - If my first experience had been more pleasant, or if I'd had some proper lessons, the outcome might have been different. Maybe one day I'll take it up as an interest. I can imagine you would love riding, especially since you love nature and you have such beautiful countryside around you!

  18. @ JANICE - Janice, if you ever want to use the image, just let me know and I'll find the JPG for you. Hope all is well and you're not snowed in!

  19. @ ROBB - The older I get, the more I appreciate being able to move around on my own power. I have difficulty trusting horses, airplane pilots, and hot-air balloon operators I haven't met before, lol...

  20. @ ARIEL - Thanks for your visit and the heads-up on your sites! I'll be sure to visit! :)

  21. What personality she has! And I just love the hay - she doesn't seem to mind you photographing her either.

    I never did too well on the horses either. It's better for them and I that I stay on the ground.

  22. I love this photo. Hello, by the way. I just reached your blog through Laura Jayne's, Pictures, Poetry & Prose.

    My husband and I also went on a three day honeymoon, only to Lake George, NY. The last day there, we stopped on the way through and went horse back riding up one very lengthy and high mountain. I had a hungry and very gassy horse, the second to the last in line; he was always stopping to eat some leaves and continuing on his way with musical toot's left behind (my husband following and finding himself amused by the stinky music in front of him ;o>).

    It was a funny and delightful experience to have in memory. Thank you for reminding me and sharing your own. I should share in my blog, the photo of him and our little humurous story. I do think you've inspired me ;o).

    ♥ Heather

  23. Oh my! you really haven't had great experiences on top of horses. Luckily even though they're known for riding, I think they can be enjoyed just as well from the ground. She looks wonderful :-) I find feeding horses apples fun but a little bit intimidating. Such large excited teeth!

  24. Hi! I gave up on horses the first time I rode one. Why? I could only get it in reverse. Mind you, I followed the exploits of Mr. Ed for quite sometime. Take Care - Peter

  25. @KATHY - She does have a lot of personality and she's definitely not as skittish of me as I am of her! As I've said, feel much better on the ground, too!

    @SIMPLY HEATHER - Another 3-day honeymooner, complete with a needy, hungry horse! Gasseous, to boot! lol... Reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where Kramer is driving the carriage and Rusty the horse is passing a stinky storm-wind.

    May any future horse rides be more pleasant for you! While I would love to do it again--it looks so freeing when other people do it--I doubt I'll find the nerve unless I can get a real lesson first, and feel more secure about it.

    And yes, DO share your photo and experience with us!

  26. @SHARON - I find ANY large animal rather intimidating! Once, at an animal preserve, a large goat stepped on our daughter's foot. She was only about four then, and she just stood there with her mouth hanging open, not sure how to tell a lumbering goat to get the heck off her new pink sneaker. I'm sure he weighed plenty and I'm glad we were there to "rescue" her!

  27. @ PETER - You could only get it in reverse! That's hysterical. Clearly, you were worse off than I have been.

    I watched Mr. Ed too, in the high hopes of becoming an ace equestrian. NOT! :)

  28. ...and no one can talk to a horse of course!

    And now I'll be singing that song in my head for the next few days until I can manage to get it gone.



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